Body size and age structure of the endangered Clark’s lizard (Darevskia clarkorum) populations from two different altitudes in Turkey

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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We investigated age structure, body size and longevity in two breeding populations of Darevskia clarkorum inhabiting altitudes ranging from 450 m a.s.l. (Kamilet) to 2250 m a.s.l. (Başyayla) in Turkey by skeletochronology performed on the phalanges. The mean age was found to be 6 years in the Kamilet population and 7 years in the Başyayla population. The maximum life span was 10 years in the lowland population while it was 12 years in the highland population. Age at sexual maturity of both males and females was 1-2 years in the lowland population while it was 2-3 for both sexes in the highland population. Both age and SVL of specimens from the Kamilet population were significantly different between the sexes while age and SVL did not differ significantly between the sexes in Başyayla population. As a conclusion, we observed that the mean age, longevity and age at maturity were increased by altitude while there was a decrease based on the mean SVL in the highland population of D. clarkorum. Our data on body size, longevity and age at sexual maturity may contribute to conservation efforts for this endangered species.


Publication of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica


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  • (A) Age distributions for male and female Darevskia clarkorum from Başyayla (highland) and Kamilet (lowland) populations. (B) The von Bertalanffy growth curves for Başyayla (highland: open circle, grey line for males and solid circle, solid line for females) and Kamilet (lowland: open circle, solid line for males and solid circle, grey line for females) populations of D. clarkorum. The solid square shows SVL mean (27.6 mm) of the lizards at hatching as reported by In den Bosch and Bout (1998). Growth parameters are given in the text.

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